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Chinese Eminent Domain, Pt. III


The couple that had been fighting to save their home from demolition to make way for a shopping center have lost their battle.

Reporters from across China and beyond traveled to Chongqing, a sprawling city 850 miles southwest of Beijing, to document the campaign by Wu Ping and her husband, Yang Wu, to get more compensation for the small building where they had lived and run a restaurant for years. As they repeated tirelessly into the microphones, they were the lone holdouts among 280 houses bulldozed since 2004 to make way for a shopping center, and they vowed not to move out of the way until they got what they wanted.

On Tuesday, news spread that the long struggle was finally over. Wu Ping and Yang Wu quietly reached an agreement with the development company Monday, local authorities reported. Bulldozers moved in during the night to raze the house, flatten the little pillar it stood on and pursue construction of yet another shopping center for China's increasingly well off 1.3 billion people.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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